As many as 49 prisoners have tested positive for Covid-19 in district jail Anantnag. With this, the number of infected inmates has jumped to 96 in the jail where 192 detainees are presently lodged.
“The samples of 49 more from district jail have returned positive,” a health official said. Earlier, 47 inmates had tested positive.
“The samples of 10 jail staffers including cops have also returned positive,” an official said. He said this has taken the number of infected jail staffers to 12 as a staffer and a contractor had already tested positive.
The samples of 239 people including 192 inmates and staff members of the jail and its mess, were collected after the PSA detainee of Trehgam Kupwara Zahoor Bhat, brother of JKLF founder Maqbool Bhat was declared positive for the virus late last week.
Bhat had complained chills following which he was taken to GMC Ananatng where his sample was collected.
He is undergoing treatment in the isolation ward of the hospital.
“Of the 239 samples, 108 have returned positive,” an official in GMC Anantnag told Greater Kashmir.
The inmates who have tested positive mostly include political prisoners and youth arrested in militancy-related cases.
Muslim League vice-chairman Rafiq Ganai and cleric Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat (Veeri) of Veeri village of Bijbehara, Tehreek e Hurriyat district president Kulgam Muhamad Shaban Dar are also among the positive cases.
He said the positive cases have been isolated.
The jail located in the Mattan area of Anantnag has a capacity of around 80 inmates but is overcrowded with around 192 prisoners.
A jail official said that the authorities were taking “all the precautionary measures and the medical team was on the job.”
“The prisoners who have tested positive have been shifted to makeshift barracks,” he said.